Open Letter from Rev. Clarence, 3/27/23

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Dear Members and Friends of St. James,

In this communication there are several items which I call to your attention.  Many of the items which I shall mention, were noted in Sunday’s service leaflet, but of sufficient interest and importance, that I repeat them here.

Services in Holy Week and on Easter Day:

  • Palm Sunday, 2 April, begins Holy Week.  Eucharist is celebrated at 10:00 a.m., with the distribution of and procession with palms.
  • Maundy Thursday, 6 April. Eucharist of “the Last Supper” with be observed at 7:00 p.m.  Following the stripping of the altar, opportunity will be given for quiet meditation.
  • Good Friday, 7 April.  No service at St. James.  However, you are invited to join with neighboring parish, St. John’s Church, 74 Pleasant St., Arlington 02476, at 12:00 noon or 6:00 p.m. for a Good Friday liturgy.  Or, you may join me at noon at Church of the Advent, 30 Brimmer St., Boston 02108, where I shall offer a mediation on the words of Christ from the Cross.
  • Easter Day, or the Feast of the Resurrection, 9 April, 10:00 a.m. will be observed with a Festal Eucharist.  Following the service, you are invited to gather in St. Francis Hall for a light reception and informal conversation.
  • Precautionary measures against COVID-19:  Please note that masks are recommended, but no longer required.  However, our Bishop, following state and CDC guidelines, continues to urge the use of masks while singing.  We will maintain our practice of receiving Communion in one-kind only, namely in the Bread.  Theologians for centuries and still today remind us that Christ is present in either or both elements of communion.

My absence: 

  • From Monday, 10 April through Wednesday, 11 May 2023, I shall be out of country, visiting my older daughter and family in Hongkong.  This will be the first time away from St. James since the beginning of the COVID pandemic.  It was essential to me that I share the same restrictions as imposed on our parish.  Moreover, travel from the USA to Hongkong was restricted by the Hongkong authorities.  The ban has been lifted.
  • During my absence, the Rev. Paul Goranson shall stand in for me at the altar.  Fr. Goranson, a priest in the Diocese of Western Massachusetts, is no stranger to us, as he has performed this service during prior absences on my part.  Our connection is through Swedish, which we share.
  • Pastoral emergencies should be directed to our senior warden, William Brathwaite, who will contact the rector of St. John’s Church – Arlington, also known to us, who has agreed to assist, should the need arise.
  • Please note as well the following: As I shall be away, the practice of posting weekly updates, which I began at the outset of the pandemic when we were not permitted in-person liturgies, will be suspended.  And, as the grips of the pandemic diminish and most parishioners are returning to in-person worship, upon my return we shall evaluate the continuation that practice.

Of your charity, I bid you conclude your Lenten devotions by attending as many offerings of worship, as your schedule allows.  But, especially your presence, circumstances of health determining, would be duly noticed on Easter Day.

May the peace of God that passes all understanding, keep your hearts and minds in the love of God and of his Son Jesus Christ our Lord; and the blessing of God Almighty, Father, Son and Holy Spirit be with you and those whom you love on this day and evermore.  Amen.

Your fellow Sojourner in The Way,